Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Faith No More? - BookForum

According to Alister McGrath, we are living in the twilight of atheism. This article Faith No More? reviews McGrath's book  The Twilight of Atheism and describes how a number of atheists are responding to the challenge to rejuvenate atheism for the modern world.

By proclaiming that atheism is on its last legs, McGrath turns one of the most burning questions in American culture on its head. When everyone is asking about the growing strength of religion and its political ramifications, we might instead ask, Why is disbelief on the wane? Today's commonsense answer is that atheists, agnostics, and secularists are less and less relevant to the needs of Americans (and, McGrath adds, the rest of the world). Whether true or not, this is an amazing commentary on the self-confidence that once made atheism the modern creed, which McGrath summarizes as "the religion of the autonomous and rational human being, who believes that reason is able to uncover and express the deepest truths of the universe, from the mechanics of the rising of the sun to the nature and final destiny of humanity." Why, after predictions that religion had fallen into irreversible decline (in 19Ö;; Time magazine famously asked, "Is God dead?"), does a recent Newsweek poll indicate that 64 percent of Americans call themselves religious and an equal number pray daily?

Read the whole article for a critical review of McGrath's book and six books written by atheists responding to the challenge to make atheism relevant for today.

Key Words

secular, religion, McGrath, god, atheism

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